The founding of Pazmashen

I take to write about the history of Pazmashen, presenting the conduct of our past forefathers, their civilization, intelligence, production, conscientiousness, and charity, also their good habits that have been generous, and offered faithful service for nation and fatherland.

From wherever they are, scattered among the four corners of today’s world, the children of Pazmashen, of course, will not forget their birthplace. Pazmashen, today whose name is only remembered, with very little of the past having been remembered, upon all Pazmashentsis grows heavy a responsibility before Pazmashen.

Oh, countryman, whose verdant fields of grain from which you were fed, from pure water you drank, cool air you breathed, who as a happy and dear child took care and protected you, will you forget your forefathers who established Pazmashen, for many centuries endured troubles, and with many large sacrifices gave rise to its great name from Kharpert to distant provinces.

No, no, you will remain faithful to Pazmashen. In front of her you will bow, you will keep within your heart’s center her past memories and you will keep her name eternal. You will leave memories for future generations in order that they remain faithful sons and again remember to bear testimony to all of Pazmashen’s detailed information, so those who follow their elders’ demands of service, offer themselves to Pazmashen’s reconstruction.

THE FOUNDING OF PAZMASHEN

The history of the village of Pazmashen, from the time I found myself in that land, I have gathered authentic inscriptions and now with recollection I desire, in the manner of a booklet, to offer light and present a service to my countrymen by performing this obligation toward my birthplace, for alas, today deserted and depopulated of its native children, it has been reduced by ravage and destruction.

Pazmashen, Kharpert province’s population center, is two hours distance from the city and one finds there its westernmost side. With its old name, it is called “Pazman”. The village’s first inhabitants were established in the year 1165 and populated by many members of seven families whose manner of living was that of patriarchy. About the people who worked the land, they kept many types of animals. Each family had their private acreages which were very fertile. They had a type of independent life. They worked hard with great pain and they enjoyed the fruits of their labor with comfort and peace.

The houses of those seven families of that village were constructed within approximately 15 minutes distance from each other each within their own private, deeded estate. They also had their own extensive vineyards. The place of the former vineyards were the foothills of Saint Zacharia mountain-side and Zech Karoud. Even up until our days their footpaths can be be found.

The former seven families of Pazman were the following: Tatoyenk, Korkoyenk, Narozenk, Bedoyenk, Mnchigank, Panoyenk, and Dervishenk (This is a direct transliteration. In the US, these names became Tatoyan, Korkoyan, Naroyan, Bedoyan, Manchoyan, Panoyan and Dervishiyan).

The house of Tatoyents was built near the lower vineyards of the present village which was named Vartneg. They had one hundred acres of land together with springs. The borders of their lands would reach until the Eroy spings.

The place of the Korkoyents house was the head (top) of Vlatsiga more to the side of the present village and on the Odzman Kari road. This family was lord of eighty acres of land. They had their own springs whose abundant and cold flowing waters reached until Zorkyugh.

The former place of the house of Narozents was Bghdi Dap, more near the Ghazarents spring. Their private property was eighty acres of fertile land and an abundantly flowing cold water spring.

The Bedoyenk were established at Bghdi Taroug, from the new spring towards Zorkyugh road. Their sixty acres of black soil was fertilized with their spring’s abundant waters.

The former house of the Mnchigants was built in between the Kagdini and Jrnoud springs. This family also farmed seventy acres of land and their pastures were irrigated by the waters of private springs.

The house of Dervishents was found near one side of the Dervishents spring whose land borders reached the vicinity of Eroy spring. One area of their private properties of sixty acres of land was made productive by one half of the waters of Jrorga.

The location of the house of Panoyenk was Kharadagh of fifty-five acres of land of which one border reached up to Jrorga Khara yazin. One part of the Jrorga waters belonged to them. During the summer very cold water flowed from that spring.

These seven families’ estates were transferred by inheritance from generation to generation.

The tough, industrious, village youth were also good horse sellers who had the custom of horse racing during feast days. Also one of their pleasurable pastimes was bull fighting in open fields and the owners of the winning bulls were rewarded with prizes.

Each of these family’s patriarchs had their seasonal work to cultivate their fields. Each house had a superior customarily called “Reyis”. It was the Reyis who gave directions to all the workers, they distributed the work, all the necessary needs of the house were purchased by them, they sorted out arguments, and together conducted daily work concerns of the village. In every house where thirty to forty people dwelled, they were all obligated to be subject to the Reyis’s direction and this written agreement gave each family peace and comfort.

One must confess that this patriarchal agreement up to the last years of war had generally existed in our father’s native country.

The ornamentation of these families were very simple. The heads of the young men bore decorated caps that were prepared by brides and girls. This peculiar handicraft was the women’s. They wore bulky jackets which they would lengthen to their midsections (loins). Their wide pants would be completed with sewn decorated socks of home-made cotton. The young men would sew their socks in the wintertime when the fieldwork was completed. This was also a pastime of the youth.

As one can see, to have been one of our village’s founders, lords of their private lands, made a living through their productivity, free from violence, from outside interference, and from oppression.

It has been said that Pazman’s seven families emigrated to that area during the period of time after the decline of the Pakradouni Dynasty, in one of Armenia’s eastern provinces, who – according to the traditions, belonged to Pghnuniants tribe.

An extensive history of Pazmashen, From its founding until its last days by Abdal Kolej Boghosian, Baikar, Boston, 1930

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